Résumé Help: How to Handle the Lack of a College Degree

By Debra Wheatman

On January 16, 2012

In Resume Help

About education, resume


Clara’s résumé has many areas we could improve. Overall, Clara’s presentation is very vague. She covers many of her general duties and provides a confusing an overview of how she has gained basic knowledge.  This document needs to be restructured and rewritten with the benefit of new details about her accomplishments. Today, we will take a look at the opening section and how that information could be better presented to keep Clara’s résumé from being discarded at first glance.

The very first thing we see after Clara’s contact information is a listing of high schools, community colleges, and a university.  We do not have the benefit of know how this relates to the Clara. Did she earn degrees, earn certificates, complete courses?  The reader will assume she took a course here and there and because the field of study is only mentioned for one, we will assume it was not related to her current career.  Why would you list something weak first? 

She also includes a narrative about the ways she has gained knowledge, including items she has read.  If she is a consumer of information, that is not necessary to include.  If she is the writer, it should be in a separate category. The professional associations should be in a separate category as well.

Here is a better order of information for the structure of Clara’s résumé. 

  • Profile (A three to five line summary of her general skills, qualifications, and experience.)
  • Professional Experience
  • Education (Indicate school name, location, degree, and field of study.) 
  • Professional Development (Listing of courses she has taken that relate to her career, including the association or school that conducted the training and subject title for the course/workshop) 
  • Publications (Items she has written and published) 
  • Professional Associations

Proper organization of her information is the first step for Clara to create an excellent résumé.  After that, Clara can gather stronger accomplishments and re-work the content of her résumé.

Additional Reading:

Summary Format

Education Section Format

To see additional résumé suggestions that will help you as you create your own résumé, please click on the image below.

If you would like a résumé critique, please contact Debra Wheatman at debra@careersdonewrite.com or visit us at http://careersdonewrite.com. The Résumé Help blog appears weekly on Mondays.

One thought on “Résumé Help: How to Handle the Lack of a College Degree”

  • Quivel  says:
    February 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Well, this was really such a nice article. I do really wanted to put more comments in here. Great!

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